Minestra d'Abruzzi

Minestra d’Abruzzi

1 ham bone
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, minced
1/2 cup lentils
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 lb. fresh spinach, shredded
1 cup fresh or frozen lima beans
1/4 cup lean salt pork, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
0 16 oz. can cannelini beans
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1/2 lb. wide noodles (broken into small pieces)

Simmer ham bone for 2 hours in water to cover. Remove bone from stock, trim meat from bone in pieces and return to stock. Set aside until needed. Heat olive oil in soup pot, cook salt pork until crisp and then add carrots, garlic and parsley and saute a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except spinach and noodles. Pour in reserved ham stock, cover and simmer 1 hour. Add spinach and cooked noodles, simmer another 10 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Pasta e Fagioli

1 cup dried pink or cranberry beans
6 cups Chicken or Meat Broth
0 kosher salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 extra-large egg
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
0 freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
1 tsp. minced garlic (optional)
0 grated Romano cheese

1 Pick over the beans, removing any shriveled or damaged beans and any foreign objects. Rinse the beans in a sieve under cold running water.

2 Combine the beans and enough cold water to cover by 4 inches in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling over high heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, 1 hour. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold running water.

3 Heat the beans and broth in a heavy 4 quart or Dutch oven to simmering over low heat. Add salt to taste and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

4 Using the flour, egg and olive oil, make fresh pasta.

5 Roll out the pasta dough on the next thinnest setting of a pasta machine. (Alternately, roll out by hand until the pasta is thin enough to read through.) Cut the pasta into maltagliati, rough triangle shapes about 1 1/2 inches on each side. Line a baking sheet with a lightly floured kitchen towel. Arrange the pasta flat over the towel, top with a second towel and let stand at room temperature until needed, but not longer than 2 hours.

6 When the beans are tender, season the broth to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the pasta and parsley and garlic, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle into warmed bowls, passing the cheese separately. Makes 8 servings

NOTE: Prepare the soup through step 3 up to 2 days in advance. Make the pasta up to 2 hours before serving. Reheat the soup to simmering, then if necessary to original consistency and season before continuing with step 6.